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UPDATE 1-Turkish bonds, lira close flat in quiet trade

(Updates with closing figures)

ISTANBUL, Dec 24 (Reuters) - Turkish bonds and the lira traded flat and stocks dipped on Wednesday in thin volume as Europe began its holiday season amid negative data from the United States.

The lira IYIX= closed at 1.5175 to the dollar -- virtually unchanged from the previous day's level of 1.5170 on the interbank market. The yield on the benchmark June 23, 2010 bond <0#TRTSYSUM=IS> was unchanged at 17.02.

The high-yielding currency has lost some 25 percent of its value to the greenback this year although it has recovered more than 5 percent this month inspired by hopes of a new deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and massive rate cuts in the United States, Europe and Japan.

“It feels like we are on holiday. Trade volumes are very low. The U.S. jobless claims fanned negative sentiment but it is not possible to talk of a big impact because trade is not at a normal day’s level,” Demir Life Insurance portfolio manager Cengiz Kilic said.

Istanbul's main stock exchange index .XU100 closed 0.91 percent lower at 26,054.96 points, underperforming the MSCI index .MSCIEF of emerging market shares which was 0.3 percent weaker.

Stock markets in much of Europe were shut on Wednesday while others closed early. Around two-thirds of Turkish stocks are owned by foreigners and holidays abroad usually mean lower trading volume on the Istanbul bourse.

Heavily traded financials .XBANK closed down 1.35 percent, with top traded Garanti GARAN.IS bank 1.53 percent lower at 2.58 lira.

Turkish assets have been supported in recent weeks by expectations the government will shortly sign a new deal with the IMF to help it weather the global financial crisis.

Turkey is near a deal with the IMF on the extent of measures in a planned agreement with the Fund, state-run Anatolian news agency on Wednesday quoted Economy Minister Mehmet Simsek as saying.

An IMF mission is scheduled to visit Ankara in early January for talks with Turkish officials. Turkey is expected to sign a regular stand-by or a precautionary stand-by deal with the IMF, which government sources told Reuters this month was expected to be around $25 billion. (Reporting by Selcuk Gokoluk and Alexandra Hudson; editing by Tony Austin)

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